The Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported on Sunday afternoon that three inmates escaped from the John Latorraca Correctional Facility.
After conducting a routine head count at the jail's housing units on Saturday night, Merced County Corrections Officers learned of the escape of Brandon Joseph Crane, 29, Felipe Angel Lopez-Valle, 26, and Manuel Carreno Garcia, 25.
"The case is being investigated aggressively," said Sheriff’s Department Spokesman Delray Shelton. "The Sheriff is taking a firm stance on the matter, and we will actively pursue these individuals until they are in custody."
Officials believe the inmates escaped around 10 p.m. Saturday night by moving a fluorescent light fixture in their housing unit and making a hole in the ceiling. Through the opening, they allegedly escaped onto the roof of the facility, jumped to the ground and scaled the security fence.
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"The jail was never built to house high-risk felons," Shelton said. "It was built as a low risk facility. But we will not tolerate these types of incidents."
Merced resident Crane is wanted on escape charges, being a felon in possession of a firearm, violation of parole and various other firearm related charges. He is Caucasian with blonde hair and blue eyes. He stands about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing roughly 170 pounds.
Riverbank resident Lopez-Valle is wanted for escape, deportation proceedings, resisting and obstructing arrest, receiving and possession of stolen property, vehicle theft and driving on a non-valid license. He is Hispanic with black hair and brown eyes. He stands about 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighting about 216 pounds.
Merced resident Garcia is wanted for escape, deportation proceedings, assault with a deadly weapon and felony domestic violence. He is Hispanic with black hair and dark-brown eyes. He stands at 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds.
Deputies are asking anyone with information to call the Sheriff's Department at (209) 385-7445. Tips are kept confidential and callers can remain anonymous.”